We support a strong U.S. civilian space program--for its scientific value, its economic and environmental benefits, its role in building new partnerships with other countries, and its inspiration of our nation's youth.
As a small country with limited resources, Israel has had limited opportunities for space research. Still, in recent years, Israel has begun to develop powerful rockets and launch satellites. In addition, it has long been involved in related research that can be conducted on earth.
Cooperation on Land and in Space
- In 1985, NASA and the Israel Space Agency (ISA) signed an agreement under which they would conduct joint research projects in the area of satellite-ground station laser ranging (SLR) for studying earthquakes, crustal motions, the earth's rotation and gravity. In renewing this project in 1990, NASA's chief of International Planning and Programs said: "NASA considers that major achievement has come from the operation of the Bar-Giora SLR Station by the Israeli Space Agency."
- In 1986, NASA and ISA agreed to exchange scientific and technical information. The United States has also agreed to give Israel such things as NASA aerospace and technical reports. Israel, in turn, would give NASA scientific reports and working papers in areas such as aeronautics, astronautics, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and computer sciences.
- In 1992, NASA and Ben-Gurion University initiated a joint four-year study of the relation between atmospheric and surface properties in desert transition areas. This study will assist NASA in preparation for the Earth Observing System mission planned for the late 1990s by providing data about dust particles and their effect on satellites.
- In September 1992, the space shuttle Endeavor was launched with 180 Israeli hornets for an experiment designed to discover how to prevent astronauts from suffering headaches, nausea, vomiting and weakness during missions. These symptoms are thought to be caused by "disorientation due to lack of gravity perception," according to Prof. Jacob Ishay of Tel Aviv University. The solution to these problems is considered important before sending people to space stations or on extended trips to other planets.
- On March 21, 1992, then U.S. Ambassador to Israel William Harrop said the United States and Israel must exchange information about their respective space programs "to determine where there might be a good fit between U.S. and Israeli capabilities for future space activities....Israel needs to know as much about the U.S. space program as possible, and, conversely, the U.S. needs to know as much as possible about Israel's space program."